ANAHEIM (CNS) - A suspect was under arrest Saturday in the stabbing death of a homeless man in Anaheim, but police were unsure if he could be linked to three similar stabbing deaths that has detectives treating the investigation as if a serial killer were on the loose.
The suspect was identified by Anaheim police as Itzcoatl Ocampo, 23, of Yorba Linda. He was held without bail for suspicion of murder, Santa Ana police said.
The attack behind a Carl's Jr., 3110 E. La Palma Ave., was in progress when an emergency operator got a call at 8:17 p.m. Friday, according to Anaheim police.
Anaheim Deputy Chief Craig Hunter said the man arrested fits the description of a man wanted for three stabbing deaths -- in Anaheim, Placentia and Yorba Linda -- dating to Dec. 20.
Friday night's victim was known to locals as "John." He was believed to be a Vietnam War veteran in his mid-60s. It was unclear where his last address was. Several people told television station he was a nice guy, not an aggressive beggar.
"I saw him at CVS about a week ago and I started crying when he said he wanted to leave the area and I hugged him," a woman told NBC4. "But then I saw him and I was so happy he was still here, but I've been busy and I didn't have time the last couple of days to say 'hi'."
The suspect, chased away by some people who saw him running, was caught on La Palma about a quarter-mile away in next-door Yorba Linda. His name was being withheld pending booking.
Police were believed to be questioning more than two dozen witnesses.
The first homeless man stabbed to death by what police may be a serial killer was 53-year-old James McGillivray, attacked as he slept outside a Placentia shopping center. Eight days later, the body of Lloyd Middaugh, 42, was discovered on Anaheim's Santa Ana River Trail. On Dec. 30, 57-year-old Paulus Cornelius Smit was found dead behind the Yorba Linda library.
Surveillance video taken prior to McGillivray's slaying in Placentia shows a male wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt. Investigators also are searching for a white, four-door 2000 to 2003 Toyota Corolla shown on the video.
FBI agents have been working with the Anaheim, Placentia and Brea police departments.
One person was killed Friday in a crash involving a motorcycle on northbound Interstate 5 in Carlsbad.
Covet Canyon, a paramilitary training camp in the East County, is in financial trouble after the owner defaulted on property payments. Owner Marc Halcon has 90 days to make good on the debt or the 160 acre property could fall into foreclosure and auction.
Spencer Abbott had two goals and two assists after missing two games and Eric Fehr scored twice in his debut with the San Diego Gulls in an 8-3 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners Friday night.
On Friday, a fourth woman came forward with disturbing allegations of sexual assault by a San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Angry Poway Unified School District parents on Friday packed the sidewalk calling for a local teacher to be fired after sending inappropriate text messages to a teenage student.
The unemployment rate in San Diego County dropped to 3.7 percent last month from 4.1 percent in September, according to state figures released Friday.
Black Friday is a week away, but many retailers are now making you wait. This year, companies are offering discounts the entire week leading into Black Friday. News 8's Eric Kahnert reports on some of the goods you can get during Black Friday "week."
A sea of pink will travel through San Diego starting Friday for the Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day. The 60 mile journey kicks off early Friday morning and ends Sunday evening at the final destination – the celebratory Closing Ceremony.
Camp Pendleton and Naval Base San Diego have among the highest rates of sexual assaults reported to the military among Marine Corps and Navy bases worldwide, according to a Department of Defense report released Friday.